Monday, October 30, 2017

Learning to Cook Thai Food at Thai Fresh

Hooooo boy, that was a bit of a break! It seems like summer always saps my will to blog, but this went much longer than usual. Anyway, good to be back - thanks to those of you who are still here reading! And for those of you who want a more consistent dose of food porn, even when I'm off the blogging wagon, I tend to keep up my food-centric Instagram feed.

It was a cooking class at Thai Fresh that got me invigorated to write again - this was, hands-down, the best cooking class I've ever attended. I came away feeling excited to cook the dishes we made - and, more importantly, now I feel confident that I can make every one. A big part of this was due to the fact that the class was hands-on - we split into groups of three, and each of these groups got to make every single dish that was taught in the class. And once you've made a dish once, it's easy to picture yourself doing it again.

With the possible exception of pad thai, I've always felt like there was a giant gap in my knowledge when it came to making Thai food. I've muddled my way through a curry or two, but just never really had a handle on the spices involved and wasn't really sure how to go about finding out what they were. But Thai Fresh's owner, Jam Sanitchat, took the mystery out of every step. She generously shared tons of tips for making great Thai food, and when we sat down to eat our handiwork after the class, everything was so delicious that it built up our confidence.

Thai Fresh cooking class

We started out making papaya salad. It is so easy,  especially if you buy the inexpensive shredder Jam sells at Thai Fresh for this purpose (note: Jam sells the large majority of the ingredients and tools you'll need for recreating her dishes at home, including hard-to-find ingredients like keffir lime leaves). Jam's papaya salad dressing recipe was perfect; not too too spicy, with just the right umami flavor shining through. We took a break after making this to taste our creation.

Thai Fresh Cooking Class
Papaya salad

After eating our fill of papaya salad, we headed back into the kitchen to make drunken noodles (pad kee mao), which is one of my favorites; a phenomenal green curry with chicken and sweet potatoes; and pad prik king with red curry paste.

Thai Fresh Cooking Class
Our group's pan of pad kee mao

Finally, after making all three of these dishes, it was time to eat!

Thai Fresh Cooking Class
Dinner time!

I can't recommend Jam's cooking classes highly enough. We had so much fun, and I can't wait to put my newfound knowledge to good use!

909 W. Mary Street
Austin, TX 78704


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